Defamation law changes to be taken back
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said on August 11 that the proposed amendments to the Defamation Ordinance 2002 would be withdrawn.
He told a delegation of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) which had called on him that he had given specific instructions for the withdrawal of the disputed amendments.
The delegation discussed with the prime minister the prevailing press-government relations. The APNS and CPNE representatives conveyed to the prime minister their views on the Defamation Ordinance 2002, the Newspapers Employees Conditions of Services Act 1973, Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002, and the Press Council of Pakistan.
The team also brought to the attention of the prime minister the issue of the centralisation of government advertisements policy and its implications. Officials of the ministry of information explained that the previous advertisement policy stood restored.
The delegation referred to the issue of government ads to Nawa-i-Waqt and The Nation. The prime minister said the matter would be resolved amicably. The prime minister also set up a committee to decide the issue of Daily Pakistan. The committee consists of Federal Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Hameed Haroon, Information Secretary Syed Anwar Mehmood, Secretary Law Mansoor Ahmad and APNS president Arif Nizami.